Outdoors: Best Foot Forward

Runners, get off your heels. Landing on the heel jars the body and saps momentum. A growing number of experts argue that the safest and most efficient way to land is on the midfoot or forefoot. Shoe companies have taken note with a range of new products.

The Gravity, from Newton Running (newtonrunning.com), is a lightweight trainer with a patented rubber membrane in the forefoot that stores the energy of landing and releases it on takeoff—like a miniature trampoline.

Nike's Air Zoom Elite 3 is a road shoe for average runners who want a sleek racing feel. Added forefoot cushioning encourages runners to shift their weight forward and strike with their mid-foot ($100; nikerunning.com).

The New Balance 902 features an ultralight midsole foam that shaves almost an ounce from last year's version ($100; new balance.com).

If trail running is your thing, the Sun Dragon (golite.com) features grabby lugs that compress to improve traction on sharp rocks.

The Fanatic (merrell.com) is a hybrid shoe for joggers who want durability through a range of conditions. And before lacing up, remember: don't be a heel.